Jukka Hauru & Superkings - Pop Liisa 02. 1973 Finland
CD issue: 2016 Svart (w/ Tasavallan Presidentti)
LP issue: 2016 Svart
Finnish guitarist Jukka Hauru had two fine albums from the 70s (Information, Episode) before hanging up his music career for the writing pen. Both are still quite obscure due to a lack on any modern reissue. This all instrumental live concert encapsulates perfectly the sound of both, most notably the raw and edgy Information. As I state on that review, it's quite apparent Hauru is influenced mightily by a one Frank Zappa, though for this live concert, the humor bits have been completely rubbed out. Other guideposts include Mahavishnu Orchestra and Weather Report.
In listening to this set, it probably would have been a better fit for the "Jazz Liisa" series. All the same, Hauru has just enough progressive rock sound and composition style to qualify for the genre. And one reason for this is violinist Juhani "Jupu" Poutanen, whose nickname would lead to another obscure band without a proper reissue: Jupu Group. A band that now also has a "Liisa" concert available on LP and CD (review coming soon). Poutanen is one of the "Superkings", a made-up-on-the-spot moniker meant as a joke to counter the quintet being called by the local music press a "supergroup". So melodic and shredding violin and electric guitar define this kinetic set. It really is too bad Hauru called it a day, as he had some fiery chops to display. Keyboards and an agile rhythm section round out the ensemble.
Worth noting that opener 'Mai-Ling' appears to start in mid-jam form, but as it turns out, the first 3 minutes of the tape had been damaged, so they salvaged what they could. Also of note, both 'Twilight Time' and 'Angel' are previously unreleased tracks.
Yet another essential pick up for fans of early 70s Finnish progressive jazz rock.